Push-ups are a great exercise to target every muscle in your body.  For some it comes easy, and for some it takes practice.  Executing the perfect push-up is an art because you have to keep many things in check to ensure you are maximizing your gains.

Here is a walk-through to ensure your technique is flawless.

1) Start in a plank position from your toes or knees.  Line your thumbs up with the outside of your shoulders and have your hands face forward.
* If executing from the toes- keep both legs (inner thighs to feet) super-glued together with your body straightly aligned from your head to your toes.
* If executing from the knees- keep the knees and feet super-glued together with your body straightly aligned from your head to your knees.  Hips should also stay in alignment, the bum should not be up.

2) Lower your entire body as a unit towards the ground.  Your chest should hover the ground on the down phase.  Make sure to inhale.  Elbows are flaring out to the sides but not exaggerated (Roughly at a 45 degree angle).

3) Push up from the chest, not the hips.  Again, the body should move as an entire unit.  Exhale out of the mouth as you push up to your starting position. 

Things to keep in check:

  • Ensure you belly button is pulled up into the spine to keep your core muscles on while executing the down and up motion.
  • Pull your quads and adductors (inner thigh muscles) up to ensure you don’t loose proper alignment.

Safety:

  • If you find that your wrists are in pain, take free weights or cans and hold onto those while executing the push-up.  This will create a form fitting grip to decrease wrist compression.
  • Keep your head in alignment.  Make sure you look at the edge of your mat or at an imaginary line at the end of your fingertips.  This will help to keep the airway open so you can get air in and out efficiently.  By dropping your head you are creating a closed airway.

I love prescribing this exercise to my clients because of the benefit.  As much as they moan and groan through it, they all know that the gains are greater than the pain.  Lifting your own body weight is one of the most important things to get you ready for the aging process.  As we get older we get weaker.  Our bones become more brittle and our muscle tone isn’t quite the same as it was when we were in our 20’s.  Creating and keeping muscle tone is easy to do as long as you make the time.  You do not need to be a member of a gym in order to reap the benefits.  In fact, most exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home.

If you are still unsure after reading the description above, please don’t hesitate to contact me via e-mail.  fizzique@bell.net

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